Publication Date: August 30, 2016
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Inspired by her childhood love of books like The Secret Garden and The Chronicles of Narnia, bestselling author Tahereh Mafi crafts a spellbinding new world where color is currency, adventure is inevitable, and friendship is found in the most unexpected places.
There are only three things that matter to twelve-year-old Alice Alexis Queensmeadow: Mother, who wouldn’t miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. The day Father disappears from Ferenwood he takes nothing but a ruler with him. But it’s been almost three years since then, and Alice is determined to find him. She loves her father even more than she loves adventure, and she’s about to embark on one to find the other.
But bringing Father home is no small matter. In order to find him she’ll have to travel through the mythical, dangerous land of Furthermore, where down can be up, paper is alive, and left can be both right and very, very wrong. It will take all of Alice’s wits (and every limb she’s got) to find Father and return home to Ferenwood in one piece. On her quest to find Father, Alice must first find herself—and hold fast to the magic of love in the face of loss.
I knew nothing of Furthermore when I picked it up, but I knew Tahereh Mafi from Shatter Me. The two books could hardly be more different.
Furthermore is a MG fantasy that is so unique and original that I don’t think I’ve read anything quite like it. In a world where magic is tied directly to color, everything—from the trees and grass to the people—is brightly, garishly colored.
Everything except Alice Alexis Queensmeadow. She was born a blank slate, and despite her best efforts and deepest wishes, she remains as white as paper. As the novel progresses, circumstances persuade Alice to leave her home town to search for her father, who has been missing for three years.
If Alice’s home of Ferenwood is different and unique, then the land of Furthermore is completely madcap. It has been many years since I read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, but I couldn’t help comparing the two books. Both Furthermore and Wonderland are crazy, illogical, beautiful, dangerous places. I will warn that although the book is an easy read, there is a steep learning curve in the first few chapters.
Mafi plunges the reader into this unique world with little explanation of how things work. It takes several chapters to piece together (heck, to even understand) who, what, where, when and how. What I’m trying to say is that it is okay to feel a little lost in the beginning. If you can push through that, the world and magic begins to make sense and you are in for a story unlike any other.